Wednesday, 12 September 2018

Solar Flyer ready for take-off

SHINE: Team members explain design details at the launch of the CPUT Solar Flyer. SHINE: Team members explain design details at the launch of the CPUT Solar Flyer.

CPUT unveiled its entry into the Sasol Solar Challenge 2018, South Africa today.

Students, lecturers and high school learners gathered at the Auditorium on Bellville campus to watch team members lift the veil on the CPUT Solar Flyer.

Our students take part in the Sasol Solar Challenge 2018, South Africa for the first time this year and our entry is called CPUT Solar Flyer because the original design made the solar car look a bit like a plane.

Sharp-eyed learners asked the team why the car on display was different to the CAD design on the poster, which Prof Graeme Oliver used as a teaching moment to explain how engineers need to adapt their original ideas to balance need with available material.

The long-term plan is for the car to be used when school liaison officers visit local schools to interest learners in studying engineering.

First, though the car will be taken to Pretoria from where it will set off on 22 September to race down to Stellenbosch by 29 September. The Sasol Solar Challenge is a biennial event which sees more than 20 national and international teams compete to cover the most distance over eight days.

Welcoming guests at the launch Prof Anthony Staak, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Teaching and Learning, pointed out that securing funding for the project turned out to the easier part since the team had only three months in which to build the car.

“But, where others saw insurmountable obstructions, our team simply saw opportunities. As the build progressed designs were adjusted to ensure deadlines were met.

“In the spirit of most CPUT projects this solar car project is multidisciplinary and it fits in with the university’s vision to be at the heart of technology education and innovation in Africa,” said Staak.

Written by Theresa Smith

Email: smitht@cput.ac.za

Provides coverage for the Applied Sciences and Engineering Faculties and the Wellington Campus.